Bringing their unique range of wonderful raw (unpasteurised) honeys to the Ludlow Food Festival this year is Sam and Stefano of From Field and Flower. It was a pleasure to interview Sam as part of the Meet the Producer blog series.
Co-owner of From Field and Flower
In three words describe Field and Flower:
Passionate about honey
Tell us what readers can expect when they find you at the Ludlow Food Festival?
A wide selection of wonderful raw (unpasteurised) honeys made by small, independent, producers from Italy, England, Scotland, Sweden and more. We offer tastings of all our honey -from the mildest to the strongest, plus lots of usage/pairing tips and general passionate food chat!
How did you start?
I was made redundant at the same time as Stefano (my partner and business partner) decided to stop working for his friend’s gourmet sausage company - we thought it could be a real opportunity to do something we genuinely love.
On a trip to Italy with Stefano — Piedmont, which is where he’s from — we went to see some family friends of his who were beekeepers. I’d never particularly liked honey. I associated it with the stuff you get in the supermarket — sweet and a bit boring—but this was just completely different. It was a revelation.
After that we spent months trying all the honeys we could find, deciding which would work for our range, developing our own brand. We wanted to make sure we stood for something that’s quality. The honey we sell can’t be mass-produced. It has to be raw—which means it hasn’t been heat treated—and can’t have anything added to it in terms of sugars.
Have you got a favourite product? Why?
We’re notorious for not having favourites, because we use each of them at different times, for different dishes. In essence we’re spoilt! If I had to choose one that’s close to my heart, then it would be the Cherry Flower honey from Piedmont, Italy, because it’s one of the first ones I tried when we were starting to develop our range and it’s flavour completely blew me away.
What is your best-selling product? Why do you think this is?
We don’t have a best seller per se, and that’s because everyone’s tastes are different, but two of our most popular honeys are the Heather honey from Exmoor National Park in Devon, and our Creamed Wildflower honey from Sweden – the silky smooth and delicately floral, it’s beautiful.
With all that has been achieved in your career so far, what are you most proud of?
We’re delighted that what we do seems to be a hit with customers. People come back to see us at our shop in Borough Market, in London, time and time again, some even making the trip from places like China and Canada. We like to share our love of distinctive raw honeys with people, and are really proud that people want us to keep doing it!
What are you looking forward to most about the Ludlow Food Festival?
I’ve visited Ludlow a few times, when I was a teenager with my family and loved it. It’s a beautiful town in a beautiful part of England, and has always had a strong connection with food. In fact, I can wax lyrical about the meals I’ve had in the past here – from cake and a cuppa to fine dining. Being invited to attend the festival was an honour, and we’re both keen to visit as many exhibitors as possible ourselves.
Quick Fire Get To Know You Questions:
Myself - blue. Stefano - green
Myself – Scallops.
Stefano – something hot and spicy, preferably on a pizza.
Myself – in the summer I absolutely love an Aperol spritz
Stefano - a good pint of Guinness
At the moment we’re both a bit obsessed with a great Portuguese family run restaurant called A-Toca in London. It’s in Stockwell, which is home to a large Portuguese community and serves beautiful chargrilled meats and fish really simply, but does it really well. There’s no fuss, no pretentions and most of the diners are Portuguese – always a good sign!
Stefano has green fingers and loves plants.
Myself? I’m a bookworm and can devour a book in a day.
Make sure you visit Sam and Stefano at the Sunday Market during Ludlow Food Festival 2016. You can also visit them online at http://www.fromfieldandflower.co.uk
Interview by Louise Welsby, Buy-From Shropshire.